Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Baby Carrots

You have heard me ramble on before about how I do not really like baby carrots.  And I don't - they taste funny and they are wet.  And they appear to last way too long in the refrigerator.  Basically, they creep me out.

But alas, they are a cheap, convenient snack and I often resort to them with the basic idea of  'If I'm not hungry enough to eat baby carrots, I am not that hungry.'

So this week, I am eating baby carrots and I am miserable.  I want celery, peppers, apples, pears, grapes, clementines.  But baby carrots it is - my budget allows me pretty much one 'snack' fruit or veggie a week.

I decided, out of sheer boredom, to figure out exactly what a baby carrot is, why it is slimy and why they seem to last forever.  Now, I am not going to give you a bunch of links (okay, well, here is one) - I literally typed the questions into my google search bar and read the first few relevant web pages that came up...this is not a scientific research page people...just a blog by a chick that doesn't like baby carrots but eats them anyway. 

Here's what I found out:

What are baby carrots?  Baby carrots are made from big carrots that look too funny to sell in the grocery store, so they make them into baby carrots...or, as I found out, 'baby-cut carrots.'  No shocker there - onto the more intriguing stuff.

Why the heck are my carrots always wet and slimy?  Okay, this surprised me a little.  This is because the manufacturers add water to the bags of baby-cut carrots because...wait for it...people actually prefer their carrots wet.  Okay - eeww.  And if I am offending the wet carrot lovers of the world, sorry.  But really, eewww.

And finally, why do they never go bad?  Now, I clearly prefer big, normal carrots but I find that they go rubbery pretty quick.  So what is the deal with baby-cut carrots?  Why do they last so long?  Okay, this took me a little longer to find the answer to and it has me a little skeeved.  The carrots are rinsed in a bleach solution to preserve them.  Bleach. apparently this is perfectly fine and harmless and whatnot.  But...

I think I am officially over bad tasting, slimy, wet bleach carrots forever (as soon as I finish my current bag).

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Real Run

It was a Halloween Weekend Running Miracle.  Meri and I had an actual, successful long(ish) run! 

So lets get some perspective here, okay?  If you are new to running, or training for a 5K or some other shorter distance, any miles that you log are fantastic...I do not in any way want to downplay those miles with this post.  I can still remember, clear as day, the first time I ran 4 miles.  It sucked...until it was done and all I could think was "Holy crap, I'm a runner - I ran 4 miles!!"  Those 4 miles were nothing to sneeze, wheeze or cough at.

Flash forward a ways to when I was training for my first, second and third half marathons.  Long runs were 10-13 miles...those are the long runs where, now, I can really pat myself on the back.  I have not had a long run of that distance since last January or so. 

For me, there is a certain threshold to cross before real distance training is the magic 6 mile mark.  The first 3 miles of any run suck - it takes at least 3 miles for my legs and head to start working together.  Once my body figures out that its running, it begins to cooperate for miles 4 and 5.  Those are pretty good miles.  But oh to get to mile mile 6 you are in rhythm...and once you are in that rhythm, miles 7 and 8 feel pretty good.  So the threshold is to complete the 6 mile run...then tacking on miles gets a little easier.

This Saturday morning, Meri and I completed our first 6 mile run in a long, long time.  And it was great!  We felt like runners again!  I still have a hard time calling 6 miles a 'long' run.  But I have no trouble calling 7 miles a long run.  So here we go miles - I have crossed the threshold - bring it on!